Schlosshotel Chastè in Scuol-Tarasp forces reader to pay for 7 nights even though he and his wife only stayed 6 nights; Reader settles controversy over the location of Hitler's Munich office; Reader recommends services of Euraide, an English-speaking booking and info service located in Berlin and Munich.
Used Services of EurAide
Your newsletter has been a joy to read all as well as a great help to my husband and me during our travels.
In fact, I wanted to write to say a special thank you for your issue on Munich (Sept. 99). My husband and I were there for 10 days the first week of December and had a wonderful vacation, much of it due to your newsletters assistance. We had excellent accommodations thanks to EurAide. Mr. Wissenberg and his staff were very helpful, choosing for us a small, lovely, very German B&B hotel near the train station.
The train passes we purchased through Gemütlichkeit also served us well. We found it wonderful to have our same hotel waiting for us at the end of each day. With the pass, we hopped on and off trains at will and had no winter travel worries even though we visited snowy Salzburg and Mittenwald, as well as Regensburg, Nürnberg, and Rothenburg ob der Tauber. Munich was also a joy with the recommendations in your article; the Christmas Markt, Viktualienmarkt and Nymphenburg Palace were highlights of our stay.
(Ed. Note: EurAide offices are located in the Munich Hauptbahnhof and in the Berlin Zoologischer Gardens station.)
Great Hotel, Bad Experience
Your readers should know of our experience at Schlosshotel Chastè, Scuol-Tarasp, a member of Relais & Chateaux and located in Switzerland's Engadine valley. It is owned and operated by Daniela and Rudi Pazeller. You recommended it a few years back.
Made reservations for seven nights for wife and myself via fax. Arrived on time for week's visit. On third night discovered we had to be in Zürich one day earlier than planned. At dinner that evening we told Daniela about our change in plans. There was no response, no comment. On departure day, we noticed our bill showed charges for seven nights, even though we were there six. We asked Rudi if Daniela had told him about change in plans. "Yes," he said. "But we have to charge for seven nights because we have no one else to take your room."
When we departed we were near the end of that season and the hotel was a few days away from closing. There were two other guests there when we left. We asked Rudi why Daniela did not tell us about their policy when we told her of our change in plans. And we asked why it was not mentioned in hotel literature or in any of the faxes we received when we made inquiries and reservations. We did not receive a reasonable, rational, logical response to our questions.
We submitted our grievance to Swiss hotel mediation, and they ruled in favor of the hotel.
During our visits to Switzerland over the past 20 years, often for stays of several weeks, we've never before been charged for a room we did not occupy. And, we have, on occasion, made changes in our itinerary.
Lesson learned: ask when making reservations about hotel policy if there is a possibility of a change in your plans.
Fernandina Beach FL
The Voice of Authority
Re the Munich Brown House controversy. There was only one "Braunes Haus," formerly the Palais Barlow, at 45 Briennerstrasse, adjacent to the Königsplatz, which was the headquarters of the NSAPD from 1931 until the end of the war. It was in this building that Hitler, Goebbels, Goering, Himmler, and other party functionaries had their offices. Hitler's office was on the first floor, sparsely furnished, with, I believe, a painting of Frederick the Great behind his desk, a painting of the battlefield in Flanders where Hitler was wounded (and won the Iron Cross), and a bust of Mussolini. This building, badly damaged during bombing raids, was destroyed by order of the Bavarian State government in 1951 or 52 as were all buildings like the Berghof (Berchtesgaden) so they would not become memorials or monuments to the Nazi Party or its leaders, especially Hitler.
I don't recall what is on the site now but I will be in Munich next week and I'll take a look.
The Gibbens are correct and the building they refer to was the headquarters, local, of the Brown Shirts. It was also the "party store" where one could buy uniforms, accessories, badges, flags, and such.
I am, however, mistaken in my report about the Hofbräuhaus. It was slightly damaged by fire but, for the most part, survived in its original and present day form. And it was used often by Hitler. The Italian restaurant Osteria was one of his favorites and I believe the table he favored is still there.
I'm not surprised that locals who work in the building the Howsers mention report that it was Hitler's office. Not many Germans know beans from bananas about the 1933-45 history of their own country. Older Müncheners, those now in their 70s, 80s and 90s would probably remember these things but they were not spoken of much or taught after the war until the 60s.
And just to be picky, it is Feldherrnhalle, not Felderherrnhalle; the former translated to "General's Hall" but is usually given a now archaic meaning "Gentlemen's Hall" and the latter would be "Crop Man's Hall," a word that does not exist.
Remember Baron Munchhausen, the comic character of the 30s, whose famous line was, "Vas you dere, Scharlie?" Vell, I vas dere Scharlie, before dese dings vas destroyed.
Lake Bluff IL